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Tata Motors, the Indian carmaker, has announced plans to sell its cars in Algeria in a further sign of the growing role that Indian companies are playing in Africa.

Tata said it would launch its passenger cars in a partnership with SPA Elsecom, an established distributor in Algeria. Continue reading »

Investors should be extra careful about betting on South Korean banks, given the sector’s frequent internal strife and failures of risk management.

The latest case is Kookmin Bank, the country’s biggest consumer lender. The bank has come under increasing scrutiny after a series of scandals involving an internal power struggle among its top executives and allegations of leaked customer data, embezzlement and illegal loans. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Stocks slip as Ukraine tensions build | S&P 500 futures show dip below 2,000 as heightened concerns about Russia’s relationship with the west helps reduce risk appetite

* Erdogan’s shadow hangs over Turkey premier | Incoming prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu will be overshadowed by a president-elect who demands his loyalty and an outgoing president who covets his job Continue reading »

A long-proposed sale of Citgo, the US subsidiary of Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA, is once again making some waves. Rafael Ramírez, the powerful boss of PDVSA who is also oil minister and deputy president for the economy, said this month that a sale could go ahead “as soon as we receive a proposal that serves our interests.”

But in the US on Wednesday, Joe García, an energy savvy Democratic Congressman from Miami, urged the Obama administration to block the sale. Continue reading »

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** FT News **

* Brazil national park draws private equity | US private equity group Advent International invests in national park service provider to capitalise on growing interest in leisure activities

* Ukraine rebels extend fight to south | The fighting around Novoazovsk creates a new front in the conflict on the Black Sea coast which Kiev has used as a logistical base Continue reading »

By Hayden Briscoe and Hua Cheng, AllianceBernstein

In spite of worries about a collapse in China’s property market, we think that the financial system will navigate the coming credit cycle if banks can buy time to resolve loan problems — and receive government support if needed. Continue reading »

By Hayden Briscoe and Jenny Zeng, AllianceBernstein.

Concerns about a possible collapse in China’s property market continue to grow. However, our research suggests that fundamentals are more robust than many people think. The biggest danger lies in the potential for policy mistakes.

Investors are understandably worried about the headlines coming out of China’s property sector. Sales fell in July after having seemed to stabilize in June. For the first half of this year, sales nationally fell by 6.7% year over year, to Rmb3tn (US$488.4bn). That’s the first time such a steep fall has occurred since 2011. Continue reading »

Mexico has a brand new police force, the gendarmería tasked with beefing up the country’s crackdown on crime.

But according to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), it may have a powerful crime-fighting weapon already: remittances. Continue reading »

Ratan Tata (pictured), who was the head of India’s powerful Tata group until 2012, ushered in a period of ambitious international expansion at the company. He is one of the most respected figures in the business community today.

On Wednesday, it was announced that the illustrious businessman has personally invested in Snapdeal, the online marketplace that is battling to win a share of India’s fast-growing market for ecommerce. Continue reading »

A report to be released by the Institute of International Finance on Wednesday will make sobering reading for EM investors: estimated portfolio flows to EM assets fell sharply in August to just $9bn, after a monthly average of $38bn between May and July.

August is always a slow month but this year it has been notably sluggish. EM bond issuance, for example, was just $22bn this month from a monthly average of $62bn over the past year and $44bn in August 2013, the IIF said. Continue reading »

Hyun Song Shin, head of research at the Bank for International Settlements, has been sounding alarm bells over the debt issued by emerging market corporates since last year. His latest research, presented to the BIS AGM last month, explains how investors’ hunger for yield has put them on a hair trigger for selling should anything go wrong.

Shin’s paper shows how many more long-duration EM bonds asset managers are holding than they were in 2008. Continue reading »

By Stefan Jajecznyk and Taras Kuzio

As fighting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions intensifies, the first foreign member of the Ukrainian military has become a casualty of Russia’s proxy war. Codenamed ‘Franko’, Mark Paslawsky who grew up in the Ukrainian diaspora in New Jersey and was a West Point-trained officer in the US Rangers, gave up his US citizenship for a Ukrainian passport and the chance to serve in the Donbas volunteer battalion, one of more than 20 in Ukraine’s newly formed National Guard.

Paslawsky (pictured above) was wounded by shrapnel on August 18 during a firefight with separatists and Russian paratroopers in the outskirts of the regional capital of Luhansk. With no air ambulance available he could not be saved by medics. He was buried this week. Continue reading »

China’s property slump – which in July was characterised by widespread declines in city real estate prices coupled with falling sales volumes – appears to have carried over into August, data for the first half of the month shows.

Data from 42 large cities monitored by China Confidential, a research service at the Financial Times, shows a 20 per cent year on year decrease in home sales in the first 17 days of August. Unsold inventory in 14 large cities jumped by 48 per cent year on year in the same period, the data shows (see chart). Continue reading »

A surge in the popularity of automated banking services in South Korea has slashed the number of people who still use bank branches to a small minority, encouraging industry restructuring.

According to a Bank of Korea research report, only 11.2 per cent of South Koreans used branches as of June, compared with 88.8 per cent using automated channels such as ATMs, internet banking and mobile banking. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Evidence grows of Russian army in Ukraine | Kiev releases videos of four captured Russian soldiers who say they were sent by Moscow to eastern Ukraine for military operations

* Israel and Hamas agree open-ended truce | Both sides accept an Egyptian-brokered open-ended truce after a day in which Hamas fired some of the heaviest barrages of rockets since the war began Continue reading »